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Weekly Journal - 02/09/2016 - A Blast from the Past

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Hey all,


We are preparing the last touches on the September update which we plan on pushing on the PREVIEW branch very soon. As you know by now, we test the updates on the preview branch to test if it contains any major game breaking issues before pushing it officially on the main branch of Steam, GOG and Xbox One.


Read the build notes here!


We are planning on pushing it officially in around 10 days or so, and we will keep you updated!


As a reminder, when we push an update it is always recommended that you start a fresh new game, as using an old save with a new update can create issues. Over time this will become less frequent, but it is difficult for us to predict how save games will be affected.


Otherwise, here is what we have been up to this week!


Art Team




This work week has been shorter than usual on my side (curse you, colds). My tasks have mostly been about completing / polishing stuff I have already been working on.


In We Happy Few, all the buildings in the Garden District have so far been using the same two wall brick textures. It was getting very repetitive. I've been working on a new bricks/stones variants to fix this issue - and to use on the new arches that will be spawning in the village. This time, I wasn't able to find a base texture very similar to what we wanted, so I had to do a lot of meticulous photoshop and heavily modify some brick textures.



So many factors come into play for stone bricks to feel realistic in-game:


- Seamless tiling: Each texture needs to tile left to right and top to bottom so it can be repeated multiple times.

- Contrast: Contrast between the bricks in value, color, shape and sizes. Some need to come out more, some less.

- Accentuate depth: Leave enough space between bricks to help give the illusion of protruding rocks. Since textures are two dimensional, small cracks and crevices don't allow for proper depth representation.

- Disorder: Slightly rotate bricks so they are not too rigid and going in the exact same direction.

- Balance: If there's excessive contrast and a few bricks pop out from the bunch, the tiling becomes obvious and you see the repetition. Too much contrast breaks realism so it's important to balance everything out.


I've also been working on some very cool 60s mod plexiglass signs (concepted by Sarah) for the Village. They glow - and flicker at different rates - at night. We went all the way and created THIRTY different variations, which you can see down below. I also re-edited the Garden District signs I did to make them more worn out so they blend better with the buildings.




Then, I've also been fixing a few very minor Jira bugs (namely, fixing placement of multiple decorators on the Village houses), and am currently working on new arch variants. However, they're not ready to show yet. I am looking forward to showing them to you - along with other cool stuff - next Friday.




Now that the Village signs have been passed along to Marc-Andre, I've moved back to focusing on UI assets this week, from icons to menu screens. We've been dying to update the overall aesthetic of the UI menu for a while now, and the time has come at last to give it some serious revision. I've only scraped the surface this week, and I won't be sharing pics so as not to spoil anything (assuming anyone cares about UI!), but I made some new icons and hope you will be contented with ogling those little babies instead!




Gameplay Team




This week, I outlined behaviors for three new AI types that are very different from existing archetypes. The Doctor, who you may remember from last year’s Gamescom trailer, focuses on buffing other NPCs and debuffing the player, but maybe more importantly acts as a very serious conformity enforcer. A second AI type, codenamed PEEPER, functions as a roving guard for existing NPCs or can operate independently. PEEPER does not walk or roll and only touches the ground when you eliminate it (more details later). Finally, the third type (unnamed for now) focuses on sanitation and, when provoked, is equivalent to a mini-boss in terms of threat.






This week for me was a bit of everything really. I continued working on my house layout from last week, I pretty much laid out all the walls, doors, ceilings and floors. I can place the furniture, roof, and NPCs next week and an artist will put the finishing touches like lighting, decorations and variations and it will be ready to test!




I also integrated two other Points of Interests in the Village houses: watching in mirrors, cleaning kitchen counters and knocking on front doors. Knocking on doors was a bit tricky because I needed to make an extra step to make sure that Wellies from outside the house actually use this POI, because the opposite would have been quite weird! But you never know what to expect from Wellies high on Joy, right?


Aside from that, as we are preparing the next update for you guys, I fixed a couple of minor bugs for some quests and helped in testing the game to find some bugs!




Hey you guys,


I worked on 4 new underground Village areas this week. They’re still pretty “bare-bones” so I’ll show more of it next week:




Animation Team




Hi, this week’s been interesting! It started out as a continuation from last week on interior passive behavior. With Vince’s help, all these animations have been integrated and Wellies now spend time doing stuff inside their house! I also added simple animations such as NPCs knocking on doors or variations for scavenging.


Then I started working on lock picking in first person. We will have to implement visual for locks to doors and chests before this is integrated, but I think that adding detail with animations like lockpicking will help the stealth gameplay immersion.


As Alex pointed out recently, we are in the process of reviewing our narrative as well as planning for the next protagonists. So I started setting up all the scenes for the upcoming cinematic playthrough. The next step will be to create a rough blocking for each remaining scene, so I might go silent for the next couple of weeks!


Here’s a sample of some animations I worked on in the past two weeks.



Thanks for tuning in!


Compulsion Team



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I don't get tired of reading all these updates per week. It is a unique and amazing approach from the developers. Thank you!

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So many incredible new things! Everything, even the work in progress, always looks so beautiful and polished! You guys do such great work; thank you so much for sharing it with us, and on such a frequent schedule. These updates really make my week. It's fascinating to see what goes in to craft a video game.


Also I care about UI!!

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I'm also extremely excited for this update. I love playing around in this game and you guys make it more immersive every time we get a new update!

Thank you guys for continuing this work. I can't hardly wait for the game to actually come out. I hope its your opus.

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